Oklahoma HR Experts: Traditional Appraisals Ineffective

Article excerpt

Oklahoma human resource management experts agreed with the consensus from a recent study by the Achievers consulting firm that found yearly employee appraisals are largely ineffective.

Or at least that's true in a workplace vacuum when the boss follows a traditional model of providing feedback only once a year, said Russ Moen, vice president of human resources at Express Employment Professionals in Oklahoma City.

"There's a small minority of HR practitioners who believe that the traditional - and that's the key word - traditional performance appraisal isn't very effective," Moen said. "I've heard people at conferences say we should throw out the old appraisal. And there's some good background that supports exactly that.

"So we see employers who still use them, but the problem is that they're not conducted very well," he said. "We don't even call it an appraisal at Express; we call it performance planning. And we try to focus on goals and planning development."

A workplace survey by San Francisco-based Achievers found that the vast majority of companies still rely on annual evaluations as the primary means of providing employee performance feedback, but that less than 5 percent of HR managers think such reviews are useful.

About 60 percent of employees surveyed said they appreciate immediate feedback from their managers and co-workers, but only 25 percent said they feel that they receive it. Many organizations never even get a chance to shape their employees' skills before they move on to the next job - according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average workplace tenure of the so-called millennial generation is about 1.5 years.

"Recognizing their contributions at year five - or even year three - will not impact their retention, nor will it motivate your other employees," the Achievers study found. "By delivering more informal types of recognition and feedback that are not structure- or process-bound and that encourage peer-to-peer interaction can help HR overcome this gap and make employees feel more recognized - translating into increased engagement and organizational performance."

That's the key to a formal schedule of major evaluations, Moen said: They must complement feedback throughout the rest of the year, which should be comprised of positives as well as negatives. …